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The Buttonbush ( Cephalanthus occidentalis) is an unusual shrub with curious white pincushion flowers. It is found in the wild all over the United States, usually in swamps and moist areas.  Growing up in rural Alabama, I remember seeing it in the woods behind our house.  It doesn't garner much attention until the blooms make their appearance.  Sources vary on the size of the plant. In the wild, it can get to 20 feet but in gardens, most likely under 12 ft. In my garden, it is about 4 feet tall after five years in the ground. It is located along the back fence in an area that doesn't get much supplemental water although I am working on the area and watering more often this year. The flowers have a slight honey-like fragrance. Bees love this plant! Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy

Grass Coming In

 The project that I've been working on during the past few months is finally coming to fruition. I put out the grass seed about 3 weeks ago. It took a full two weeks for grass to appear. I had been hand-watering it but then switched to a sprinkler and I think that made a difference. Of course, if we could get some rain, I'm sure it would go to town. 

The second portion is behind and the seed here was planted later. It has taken about 10 days to appear. At the last minute, I decided to create a step-down since this area was a little lower.

  Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy


  1. The small victories are what keep us gardening.

  2. That first photo gives a different and very beautiful view/perspective of the garden. Before you know it, you'll be able to practice your putting.

  3. Which grass did you use? No- mow or turf?

  4. Not sure if my earlier post will show up. Just wondering if you used turf or no-mow grass.

  5. This is coming together with the grass coming in. I like the step down.

  6. That is going to look so pretty once it fills in. Your garden is looking beautiful already with all the colors.


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